Il Fiorista builds a menu around edible flowers in NYC

At this combination restaurant, boutique, and community eduction center in New York, the flowers are not only for looks. They dazzle your tastebuds in gourmet dishes and finely crafted cocktails, too.
long marble bar inside Il Fiorista, a restaurant and floral boutique in New York City
Antique brass pendants illuminate a 30-foot marble bar at Il Fiorista.

Welcome to Il Fiorista (that’s “The Florist” in Italian). Would you like your sunflowers in a bouquet, in a delicious dip, or with rye whiskey? You will find all three and more at this restaurant, floral boutique, and community education space, which opened in New York City’s North Madison Square in September 2019. Here’s what to expect when you visit.

Floral Boutique

Close up view of vases of colorful zinnias standing on a round table at the entrance of Il Florista in New York City. In the background, you see a long row of tables and chairs on a white-and-pale gray diamond-patterned floor.

A round table laden with vases of fresh flowers greets you at the entrance of Il Fiorista, where you will also find the floral boutique. Peruse the cedar shelves of home, kitchen, and wellness goods curated by owner Alessandra de Benedetti, who founded the business with her husband Mario. Or, take advantage of the full range of floral-arranging services. Floral Director Mindy Cardozo, who once interned for Saipua and who previously flowered the New York restaurants Estela and Café Altro Paradiso, hand picks the flower selection from local farms.

Floral-Inspired Bar & Restaurant

botanical-infused cocktail at Il Florista

Grab a stool at the marble-top bar to enjoy the floral-inspired cocktail menu by mixologist Gates Otsuji. Remember that sunflower drink we mentioned earlier? That would be the Drunken Sunflower made with rye whiskey, toasted sunflower, popcorn shoots, and turmeric. The bar also offers Italian, French, and American wines chosen by owner Mario for taste and quality as well as the wineries’ sustainable practices.

tables, chairs, banquets and abstract mural of muted colors at Il Fiorista in New York City
Design in bloom: Il Fiorista’s décor features murals by artist Leanne Shapton and furnishings by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, including tables of ash wood sourced from Pennsylvania. Award-winning architect Elizabeth Roberts designed the space.

Now, for the main course. Executive Chef Garrison Price’s seasonal Mediterranean menu incorporates an array of healthful, flavorful edible flowers. Examples include Spot Prawns with bok choy and hibiscus harissa; Duck Cappellacci with rose petal pasta, beets, Swiss chard, and pink peppercorns; and Seeded Crackers with sunflower dip, petals, and shoots.

Click the arrows below, or swipe if on a mobile device, to see how this tray of botanicals translates to dishes at Il Fiorista.
red-toned rustic wooden tray holding a colorful assortment of edible flowers and herbs
An array of plates from the New York City restaurant Il Florista including breads, a waffle topped with smoked salmon, a poached egg, dill, and caviar; a flower-topped cocktail, and a sliced steak and greens salad topped with vibrant red citrus slices.
seeded crackers with sunflower dip

Flower Classes 

Last but not least is The Flower Room at Il Fiorista, where you can take classes ranging from DIY bouquet-making to edible flowers 101. Combined with flower-filled food, drink, and shopping, these fun educational opportunities make it a destination not to miss next time you are in New York City.

Find Il Forista at 17 W. 26th Street, New York, New York 10010. Reservations available via Resy.

By Terri Robertson | Photography courtesy of Il Fiorista

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